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Elijah of Buxton - Christopher Paul Curtis

Citation: Curtis, C. P. (2007). Elijah of Buxton. New York: Scholastic Press.

 

Annotation:

Master storyteller Christopher Paul Curtis lends his trademark humor and vibrant narrative style to the gripping tale of eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman.

The first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit, Elijah is best known in his hometown as the boy who threw up on Frederick Douglass. (Not on purpose, of course — he was just a baby then!)

But things change when a former slave calling himself the Right Reverend Zephariah W. Connerly the Third steals money from Elijah's friend Mr. Leroy, who has been saving to buy his family out of captivity in the south. Elijah joins Mr. Leroy on a dangerous journey to America in pursuit of the disreputable preacher, and he discovers firsthand the unimaginable horrors of the life his parents fled — a life from which he'll always be free, if he can find the courage to go back home.

Exciting, yet evocative, heart-wrenching, yet hilarious, Elijah of Buxton is Christopher Paul Curtis at his very best — and it's an unforgettable testament to the power of hope.

Elijah of Buxton is the winner of the Coretta Scott King Award and a Newbery Honor Book for 2008.

 

Author's Information:

Christopher Paul Curtis was born and reared in Flint, Michigan. After high school graduation, he worked on the assembly line of the Fisher Body Plant/Flint Plant No. 1 and graduated from the Flint branch of the University of Michigan. His first book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963, received a Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor book citation in 1996, and Bud, Not Buddy received the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award in 2000.

His most recent book Elijah of Buxton won a Newbery Honor, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction in 2008. "This novel came to me in a way that was far different than any other," states Curtis. "From the word 'go' Elijah and I became close friends. When I'd go to the library to write, it was as if he were anxiously waiting for me, watiing to tell about his life, his worries, his adventues."

Christopher Paul Curtis lives with his wife and two children in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

 

Rewards: Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honor Book in 2008

Reading Levels: Grade 7

Genre: Historical Fiction